This seems to be my month for finding used book stores. A friend recommended that I check out Better Buy Books on First Avenue in Mission, BC, just over the Fraser River from where I live. It did not disappoint.
The book store is housed in an old movie theatre, so it looks tiny when you first walk in but when you walk into the theatre space you’re immediately impressed by the expanse of shelves and stacks of books. And I do mean stacks. Some shelves had double rows and we’re pretty sure that there’s a whole row of book cases that has boxes of books behind it.
Nearly every inch of this space is covered in books and he often has multiples of a particular copy. The mystery section was fantastic – with shelves of Agatha Christie’s (which I collect). The Sci-fi/Fantasy section was also huge. The children’s book section is a little wanting but the general Literature section is huge.
It has everything you want in a used book store: musty smell, tons of selection that’s well organized by genre, alphabetical by author then title and an eccentric owner. All that seemed to be missing was a cat.
I’ve got nearly all of the titles of Agatha Christie’s mysteries (and some of her other writings, written under the pen-name Christie Westmacott). Her books were printed under different titles depending on where they were released. I found a copy of Funerals are Fatal, which I already own as After the Funeral but which also exists as Murder at the Gallop. See what I mean?
Aaron found two sci-fi titles he was looking for as well: Swords of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs and The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester. I think half the appeal of some of the old sci-fi books Aaron finds is the artwork on the covers.
What’s your favourite book store?